February 12th, 2005 · 2 Comments · Los Angeles

Last weekend, we were planning on hitting several of the fabulous art events that were happening in the LA area, most notably, the opening of THING. Then we got a last minute invitation from some friends to go up to a cabin in Big Bear, and we decided to ditch the art world and go play in the snow. There’s a whole lot of snow in the mountains this year, and it was very relaxing to watch a cute two-year-old make a snow angel and to revive our rusty card-playing skills.

I also had the unprecedented opportunity to actually experience that famed southern California brag: hit the snow and the sand in the same day. After we drove down from Big Bear, I went to San Diego to celebrate a big birthday milestone for one of my oldest friends. It was a little odd coming down the mountain with its crisp air, low temps, fog and evergreens bowing with the burden of snow, and then, only a few hours later, to stand on the tip of the Point Loma peninsula with the waves crashing below.

Dave Hickey once said that LA is the ultimate post-modern city, a perfect metaphor for a hyper-linked world. Never has that seemed more true as I jumped between such disparate locales without really traveling much at all. Most people have no choice about manipulating their climate. It’s winter weather unless you book a trip to Hawaii.

On any given day, I can decide to surround myself with palm trees and succulents; with evergreens and mountains; with cold; with hot; with balmy; with high desert; with tropical sands; with a foggy cold coastline. I enjoy all the options, but there’s something unsettling about them too. It’s as if every day I stand before an infinitely varied buffet, and in order to make the most of it, I must always be thinking about how to make the best possible choice.

Category: Los Angeles

2 Comments so far ↓

  • David Seruyange

    I never read travel books when I lived in the LA area for the reasons you describe. I like the word “hyperlinked” because it is a lot of travelling without moving. It’s so many things at once.
    An offshoot, (healthy or unhealthy?), is the partial attention syndrome one gets from a place like that. The ability to change scenery/people/vibe/sound/place so easily can become agony when you’re in a place where there’s just one thing you have to accept.

  • Meg

    Exactly right! I’ve noticed how restless I can get in other cities, feeling like I’m missing something. It can be great, though, if you can relax enough to let the frenzy go and experience the freedom that can come with limitations.
    Nature, for example, is something I really miss interacting with when I’m in Los Angeles. The ocean is great, but somehow it still feels mediated, spoon-fed.
    It’s not the same as walking out your front door and stepping onto a trail that takes you hundreds of miles in either direction, where the chance of encountering another person is slim to non-existent. Ah, I miss the Katy Trail, steps away from my doorway when I lived in Columbia, MO.

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